Moscow Good Food Club – Restaurant Baltschug Grill, Baltschug Kempinski

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Members of the Moscow Good Food Club (MGFC) are fortunate to be able to dine in some amazing venues, and the Baltschug Kempinski is certainly a war-horse of a venue. Executive Chef Holger Jackish and his staff at the Baltschug Grill worked hard to prepare a meal that was neither exotic nor bland, but saturated with the subtle hinterland of mid-European taste ranges.

After a welcoming glass of champagne we were faced with an opening rally of pan seared scallops, rucala, radish and sweet onions. This was matched beautifully with Riesling Vom Berg Birgit Eichinger 2011. Next onto our culinary horizons charged green pea soup, foie gras and parsley, washed down with the rather sweet Regaleali Bianco Tasca d’Almerita 2008. When British people are served green pea soup, as one of the guests, Mr Pyner, commented, they think of mushy peas, fog, and eating something to make you feel a little bit warmer. But this particular soup, with the foie gras and the parsley, summoned up completely different associations, and was absolutely superb. A number of guests commented on the high quality of something that we rarely notice: the bread. “The bread and the condiments complimented each other extremely well…”

The big-gun main meal was an original combination of pan roasted cod, asparagus, baby beets, fennel and spring onions complimented with spring onions, star anise nage, cress and spinach puree. Several people from one of our four tables table felt that there was only one thing wrong with this; the plates could have been a little bit warmer. Generally, guests felt that this dish was superb. The Pouilly Fuise La Mure Verget 2005, was as good as the food. “Which culinary experience makes the heavenly choir go off in your head? This main course was one of those occasions,” somebody said.

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The desert – rhubarb compote, bitter chocolate wafer, pistachio ice cream, chocolate macaroon, white coffee ganache and strawberry couli was another heavenly choir experience. The white coffee ganache seemed to finally flatten all sceptics. As one guest mentioned: “the desert was so petite, I took a photograph of it, I’ve never tasted a square cube of something that was on my fork, then in my mouth, and it exploded. It was fantastic”. The accompanying wine; Pacherenc dy Vic-Bilh, Domaine Laffont 2008, was “something unusual which one doesn’t find every day, something that will leave impressions with all of us,” another guest mentioned.

The salt came out on one of the tables during the main meal, despite MGFC club rules, which forbid its use, as salt tends to overpower the real taste of the food. This led the speaker from that table to mention that perhaps something was missing from the main course. Despite that, the same speaker praised the chef and his team for preparing a really brilliant meal and providing impeccable service and friendly ambience.

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On this memorable night, members were asked to come up with a list of Russian Personalities that they they would like to invite to a MGFC meeting in the future. Here they are;

Mikhail Gorbachev (3 votes)
Vladimir Pozner (2 votes)
Vladimir Ryzhkov
Alexei Kudrin
Sergey Kirienko
Yevgeny Kafelnikov
Anatoly Chubais
Timati

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